The Ever Changing World of Titanium
Titanium alloys are already some of the strongest metal alloys in the world. Titanium is the metal of choice for many heavy-duty applications, like aerospace panels, machine parts, rockets, and many other metal objects that require a high amount of pressure and strength. A titanium alloy is a popular choice for these applications because titanium is strong, flexible, and lightweight all at the same time.
However, the current strength of titanium is not enough for some scientists and researchers. Researchers are constantly trying to come up with new ways to make titanium even stronger and better in every application from industrial parts to rocket engines.
Two engineers from MIT have tried to make titanium alloys even stronger by adding nanocrystals to the metal mixture. The two engineers in charge of this project are Tongjai Chookajorn and Heather Murdoch. These crystal additions to the metal give the metal an even higher strength under high stress and heat situations, like the metal would see in constant use traveling through space and the atmosphere of different planets.
The addition of nanocrystals to a titanium alloy not only gives it strength for aerospace applications, but also will allow the metal to be used in many other places as well. In high stress and heat applications, the industrial world can greatly benefit from the strengthened metal. The military will also be able to take advantage of the stronger properties in the metal alloy. According to Chookajorn and Heather Murdoch, there is a possibility to create hundreds of specialized titanium alloys from different additions of nanocrystals and other particles with similar properties. It is possible that we will see an insurgence of the use of titanium alloys in the industrial, military, and aerospace industries after the mass production of this metal is established in the near future.